COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their stunning postseason mastery of the Tampa Bay Lightning, beating the NHL’s best team 3-1 on Sunday night and moving to within a game of sweeping the first-round playoff series.

Matt Duchene, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky fended off a desperate third-period charge to finish with 30 saves for the Blue Jackets, who took a 3-0 series lead. Columbus will try to win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history in Game 4 at home Tuesday night.

Without their top scorer, the suspended Nikita Kucherov, and injured defenseman Victor Hedman, the Lightning and couldn’t find any momentum until late in the final period, and then Bobrovsky rose to the challenge.

The Blue Jackets have commanded the series since they fell behind 3-0 in the opening period of Game 1, only to rally for a 4-3 win. They pummeled the Lightning 5-1 in Game 2, and solidly outplayed them for all but a few minutes in Game 3.

The Blue Jackets were 2-8 at home in three previous postseason appearances. They are the only NHL team that hasn’t won a playoff series.

The Lightning are facing an unexpected quick elimination. Teams have come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series four times, most recently in 2014, when the Los Angeles Kings dug out of the hole in the opening series against San Jose and eventually won the Stanley Cup.

ISLANDERS 4, PENGUINS 1: Jordan Eberle scored for the third straight game, Robin Lehner stopped 25 shots and the Islanders rolled to a 4-1 victory over visiting Pittsburgh to take a 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Brock Nelson added his second goal of the playoffs and Leo Komarov scored the first postseason goal of his career for the Islanders, who have pushed the star-laden Penguins to the brink of elimination.

Matt Murray finished with 32 saves for the Penguins, but Pittsburgh again struggled to generate any offensive momentum against the Islanders, who allowed an NHL-low 196 goals during the regular season.

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel, who combined for 75 goals and 101 assists during the regular season, have yet to record a point in this series.

“You’ve got to find ways to score goals this time of year,” Crosby said. “It’s not easy, but you’ve got to find a way to do it, and obviously we haven’t done a good job of it through the first three games.”

Pittsburgh needs a win in Game 4 on Tuesday to avoid being swept for the first time since the 2013 Eastern Conference finals against Boston.

JETS 6, BLUES 3: Kyle Connor scored twice, Patrik Laine had a goal and an assist, and Winnipeg won at St. Louis to climb back into the first-round playoff series.

Winnipeg dropped the first two games at home by one goal, but got back on track in St. Louis. Kevin Hayes, Brandon Tanev and Dustin Byfuglien also scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in St. Louis.

David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, and Jordan Binnington made 23 stops.


AVALANCHE: Cale Makar is about to jump from one grueling playoff run straight into another.

The 20-year-old defenseman signed a three-year, entry-level deal with Colorado, a day after his UMass squad lost in the Frozen Four championship game.

Makar, who’s from Calgary, could make his NHL debut Monday in Game 3 of a first-round playoff series against the Calgary Flames. The series is tied at a game apiece.

“I want to make sure he’s in, rested, prepared and focused on what we’re doing here now. Then we’ll make a decision on when we get him in the lineup,” Avalanche Coach Jared Bednar said. “It’s definitely a big step up from the college game, especially when you’re jumping in mid-series, in a heated playoff round, against such a good opponent like Calgary. It’s my job to make sure I’m putting him in a position to succeed.”

The 6-foot, 192-pound Makar was the fourth overall pick by Colorado in the 2017 draft. He recently won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s top player after a season in which he had 16 goals and 33 assists in 41 games.